chapter  37
Sir George Sansom (1883–1965): Historian and Diplomat
Pages 13

AMONG British historians whose minds and senses have engaged Japan’s rich civilization Sir George Sansom remains pre-eminent. Sixty years after the publication of his Japan A Short Cultural History and a quarter of a century after the completion of his History of Japan, these works remain classics of grace and rigour which set exacting standards for each generation of western scholars.1 Yet Sir George Sansom was far more than a historian of formidable and subtle powers. He was a long-serving diplomat, linguist and aesthete who overcame illness and disappointment with epic patience and resolve.